12 May 2021
In today’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) meeting, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games highlighted recent test events, the Olympic Torch Relay and the publication of version two of the stakeholder Playbooks as key markers of the progress being made.
The IOC EB received a summary of numerous test events that have been held successfully in Japan over the past few weeks. One of these was the FINA Diving World Cup 2021, which took place between 1 and 6 May. This served as a qualifying event for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and saw 225 athletes from 46 nations compete.
Two athletics events were also conducted. A marathon event took place on 5 May in Sapporo, while an athletics test event was held on 9 May at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. Both events welcomed domestic and international athletes, with the latter playing host to 350 athletes, who competed in 33 disciplines.
In addition, international competitions have been held for rowing and volleyball in recent weeks in Tokyo, while events were also organised to test operations for the sports of rugby, swimming, cycling and gymnastics. All followed strict COVID-19 countermeasures, with several athletes, officials and senior executives commenting positively about the safety precautions taken at these events.
In parallel to this, the Olympic Torch Relay continues its journey across Japan. Adapting to local conditions, the route has taken in both public roads and restricted locations depending on the local health situation. With the torch having now been carried by over 4,000 torchbearers through 22 prefectures, the Olympic Torch Relay continues to engage the Japanese population in this year’s Games as it travels onwards towards its final destination – the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Tokyo on 23 July.
Another important update given to the IOC EB focused on the launch of the second edition of the stakeholder Playbooks earlier this month, signalling the transition of Games preparations from a planning phase to operational mode.
Building on the publication of the first edition in February, the new version of the Playbooks provide more specific details about the countermeasures, developed based on scientific expertise, that will help ensure safe and successful Games for all those taking part and the residents of Tokyo and Japan.
Over the past few days, briefings have been conducted with all stakeholders, giving them the opportunity to ask any follow-up questions, now that they have had time to review the latest edition. The next and final version of the Playbooks will be published in June.
As part of the updates to the IOC EB, it was noted that solidarity and collaboration continue to underpin the progress being made. This has been achieved through regular five-party meetings and Here We Go joint technical meetings involving the Government of Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020, the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The All-Partners Task Force, which includes the latter bodies as well as the World Health Organization, and which receives input from independent scientific and health experts, also continues to provide important input into Games delivery preparations.
The next major meeting for all of the above delivery partners comes next week, with the final Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission meeting taking place between 19 and 21 May. This meeting will be the final official opportunity for Coordination Commission members to contribute to the implementation of countermeasures and review stakeholder service levels.